Chartered private schools are not fully funded by tax dollars, so they require families to pay tuition. Families can take advantage of state-sponsored scholarship programs available to help with the cost of tuition. Chartered private schools maintain the right to have admissions standards and be selective when accepting students. These schools agree to follow Ohio’s state-approved school operating standards and curriculum.
Chartered private schools are completely different than Ohio’s charter schools, which are public schools. Chartered private schools existed before the public charter schools were formed.
In Ohio, districts are required to provide transportation or family payment for students at chartered private schools. Students must live more than two miles from the school, and transportation time from the student’s assigned public school to the chartered private school cannot exceed 30 minutes.
If a district deems a student “impractical to transport” and does not provide busing, parents can receive a payment of $250 at the end of the school year as compensation for alternative transportation costs. If transportation is not provided, it can be a barrier, but parents can carpool to reduce the costs of transportation and bond with other families at their children's school. Private schools can also provide their own transportation arrangements for students.
The cost to attend private schools varies by school. Tuition costs vary dramatically by school, with a range of $2,500 to $35,000 per year. Average tuition is roughly $4,000 for grades K-8 and $9,500 for high school.
In order to pay tuition, parents can pay out of pocket, take advantage of scholarships provided by the school itself, apply for support from local nonprofit organizations, or, if eligible, apply for one of Ohio’s state-funded scholarship programs.
Funding for chartered private schools is generally provided through student tuition, endowments, privately-raised funds, state and federal tax dollars, and grants from religious organizations or private individuals.
In Ohio, chartered private schools receive two types of state funding. They receive funding for auxiliary services (textbooks, therapists, computer software, etc.) and reimbursement for administrative costs, which are to cover the costs of record-keeping that is required by state mandates.
The application process for a chartered private school varies by school. Applicants may be asked to fill out an application, take an entrance test, come for an interview, or submit their academic records. Some private schools are open admission.
Teachers in a chartered private school are required to have a current Ohio teaching license or a nontax certificate. To receive a nontax certificate, a person generally needs a background check, $200 and proof of a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by a national or regional association in the United States.
Chartered private schools are required to administer the Ohio Graduation Test to all high school students, but not the state tests for grades K-8.
Some private schools choose to administer the state test to their elementary and middle school students. Others prefer nationally norm-referenced achievement tests, and some schools do not use standardized tests at all.
All students who receive state scholarships are required to take the same state assessments in all grades as their public school peers.